Her apartment was overflowing with congratulatory roses. She is indeed a much-loved member of the theatrical community. Here are excerpts from our conversation:
TheaterMania: When did you find out about the Tony?
Sylvia Herscher: I got a phone call and said, "Excuse me, I'll have to call you back." The man said, "Wait, I want to tell you about an award." I said, "That's very nice, but I'm in the middle of a meeting and will have to call you back in the morning." I hung up on him.
TM: You hung up on him?
Herscher: I got his number. I said that I would call back in the morning. I'm a lady. I called in the morning, and he told me--and that was fun. TM: Was it always theater?
Herscher: It was theater in high school, theater in college, out of college; it's been theater all the way, even today. TM: What is it in the theater that makes it so important to you?
Herscher: A wonderful place to lose myself, to make believe. My mother and father loved the theater. I got a lot of it from them. My mother had been an actress in the Yiddish Theater. There was a passion about theater around us. You absorb it.
TM: Tell me about some of your favorite people.
Herscher: I was Jule Styne's general manager. Did Mr. Wonderful, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?, Visit to a Small Planet, Say Darling.
TM: Was he tough to work for?
Herscher: He was the best thing that ever happened to me. Alexander Cohen introduced me. I became a production associate on Make a Wish and Pal Joey. I graduated to general manager. Charlie Baker, from the William Morris Agency, offered me a job, and within no time I was rolling. Eric Segal's Love Story was dedicated to me. I put together Dylan, Tchin Tchin, worked on Any Wednesday, The Blood Knot, Oh What a Lovely War, and Golden Boy. I was lured away by music publisher Edwin H. Morris to head the theater department. I started to work with Jerry Herman.